We are building a team of international teachers from around the globe that is going to be nothing short of magical. Our vision is huge, but first we’re going to start small and later expand into a finished masterpiece of exquisite art. It would be an honor for us if you were along for the ride and witnessed the progress from the very beginning. We look forward to sharing what we have learned and know this is our calling.
Guided by the Grace of the Guru… The Guru can come in many forms and in many ways. A teacher. A book. A video. A website. An experience. It came to me after spending over 15 years traveling around the world, as both a teacher and a forever student. Before I started teaching Yoga, Kung Fu and Reiki, I also taught English as a foreign language and lived in Poland, Peru, South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and traveled extensively through each respected continent. Traveling for this long and living in diverse countries was a thought-provoking and life changing experience that showed me exactly what Yoga can be.
“It’s an irritating reality that many places and events defy description. Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, for instance, seem to demand silence, like a love affair you can never talk about. For a while after, you fumble for words, trying vainly to assemble a private narrative, an explanation, a comfortable way to frame where you’ve been and whats happened. In the end, you’re just happy you were there – with your eyes open – and lived to see it.”
– Anthony Bourdain
Over 10 years ago, I started practicing Yoga in Puerto Escondido, Mexico when I met celebrity Yoga instructor, Byron Miller. About 5 of 6 years ago, I moved to Cape Town, South Africa to study Hatha Yoga and Yoga Synergy under Jim Harrington and completed my 200 hour, Yoga Teacher Training course. Jim is an incredible teacher, very humble and extremely knowledgable, and has been labeled as one of South Africa’s Master Yoga teachers. Cape Town was a very educational time for me as I not only practice with Jim, but also with Core Power Yoga co-founder, Dave Porter, and became a Reiki Master under a phenomenal woman, Louise Westerhout.
Becoming good friends with Jim and loving his teaching style, I became fascinated with Yoga and wanted more. I went on to complete my 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training course. Jim is originally from Australia and found his calling with Yoga Synergy creators Simone Borg Olivier and Bianca Macchliss. Jim brought Simon to Cape Town where I met and practiced directly under him. Simon is one of the only people on the planet to practice with Yoga legends, BKS Iyengar and Sri K Pattabhi Joic. Simon has been teaching Yoga for over 30 years and has traveled all over the world spreading the wisdom he gained from his teachers. He is not only world renowned, and rightfully so, but also an amazing person and a joy to learn from.
The 500 hour course took me to India, where I practiced with many more thought provoking teachers. One of them being Swamiji Sajeevan Arakkal Manoharan in Fort Kochin. Swamiji focuses on Vedantic studies, Hatha Yoga, Sivananda Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation. He is pure magic and unlike any teacher I’ve ever had before. After India, I wanted to practice Ashtanga Yoga and learn the Primary Series so I spent two months in Bali at the Ashtanga Research Center practicing under Dylan Bernstein. Dylan has practiced Zen Buddhism and Yoga from a very early age. After one month of daily practice, I had learned almost the complete Primary Series. The combination of all of these truly inspiring and thought provoking teachers, in addition with Reiki and a long history of martial arts, has shaped my own practice and teaching style in a unique way.
Simon was born in Malta, lived in Germany and England before the family settled in Sydney in 1968 when Simon was eight years old.
He studied and taught at Sydney University over a period of 20 years. In that time he completed a Bachelor of Science in human biology, a research based Master of Science in molecular biology and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Physiotherapy.
Simon loves hanging out with his kids, going to festivals and dance parties and swimming in his pool.
Simon is the co-founder and owner of Yoga Synergy and has over 33 years experience teaching yoga, inspiring people all around the world. Bianca and Simon’s shared passion for yoga has led to the creation of Yoga Synergy daily yoga classes, workshops, teacher training courses and international events.
My interest in yoga appears to have found me, more than I sought to study it. When I was six, my father taught me breath retentions for our underwater swimming competitions in our backyard pool. My father, George Borg-Olivier, was a free diver in the Mediterranean Sea and he taught me how to swim a lap of an Olympic pool underwater before I could swim on the surface. I didn’t realise I was learning yogic exercises – but they became something I have done my whole life, as I strive to do more laps of the pool underwater. Around the same time, a close family friend, Basil Brown (an Olympic athlete) taught me to do Uddiyana Bandha, which I loved doing and continued to practise, again unaware that I was doing the main yogic bandhas (internal locks). At 17, I met a Tibetan lama who, over a one-year period, introduced me to the philosophy and practice of tantric yoga. In 1980, in full embrace of the aerobics movement, I developed shin splints. A girl who was doing aerobics with me showed me a yoga ‘stretch’ (Virasana) which greatly helped, and I thought I’d tag along to a yoga teacher-training course she was doing. At the end of that training course with Eve Grzybowski, I was asked to teach, and so began my life as a yoga teacher. Over the years, I have studied with B.K.S Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois and T.K.V Desikachar. I met my main teacher, Natanaga Zhander (Shandor Remete), in 1985 and had the privilege of studying intensively with him for almost two decades. The journey of yoga is ever evolving and, since 2007, I’ve continued my training with Master Zhen Hua Yang, who teaches what his family learned in Tibet and at the Shaolin and WuDang temples in China.
I became a yoga teacher initially because a class needed to be taught and, at the end of my first teacher-training course, I was asked to do it. It then developed into much more, as I had a passionate desire to share what I’d learned with others. I started with two classes a week at Yoga Synergy’s Newtown location, then, with Bianca’s help, the school evolved organically to become what it is today. For 10 of those years we both had full-time jobs and taught part-time. We then decided we really wanted to follow our passion. Bianca and I felt we needed to know more about the body if we were to take responsibility for the bodies of others, and so we went back to university to study physiotherapy. During this time we developed the Applied Anatomy & Physiology of Yoga Course that we were invited to teach as part of teacher trainings; the first one was at the Sydney Yoga Centre in 1993. We also developed our book, ‘Applied Anatomy & Physiology of Yoga‘, that goes with the course, the first comprehensive applied anatomy and physiology yoga text. We passionately believe that if everyone had yoga in their lives, it would make the world a better place and this was why we started Yoga Synergy.
“I use yoga to lovingly encourage the circulation of energy and consciousness throughout my body to be in greater harmony with everything around me.”
Jim Harrington is a lifelong yoga practitioner, yoga teacher trainer and yoga coach to professional people. He is the founder of ReUnion Yoga & Meditation Studio and YogaForSports, a writer and world traveller. He teaches yoga classes, yoga teacher training, workshops and retreats.
He is the leading ‘teacher of teachers’ in South Africa’s yoga community. Internationally trained, Jim was registered with the International Yoga Alliance as Experienced Yoga Teacher Trainer (ERYT) in 2005 and has trained and mentored hundreds of teachers since then.
Jim’s teaching is informed by a medical and scientific approach to yoga. The synthesis of ancient traditions with contemporary thinking and research-based science continues to inspire his approach to yoga and meditation.
As a mentor for hundreds of students and teachers, his philosophy is “Anyone who can breathe can do yoga. You don’t have to be super bendy or even very fit to start feeling the benefits of yoga practice. I get a huge amount of satisfaction out of seeing people discover those benefits.”
Swamiji Sajeevan Arakkal Manoharan
Swamiji, Sajee, Yoga Master, Cosmic Lover, or Sajeevan A.M, holds an Advanced Teacher Training Certificate (ATTC) in Sivananda Yoga studies and studies of Vedanta (Non-dual Philosophy). Sajee has a special talent for training Yoga students, with his charismatic personality and warm presence. He has extensive experience in Hatha Yoga practice and Yoga philosophy. Sajee is a well established yoga teacher in Cochin, Kerala and he has been teaching Hatha Yoga for the last 15 years. Sajee teaches Hatha Yoga from the Sivananda Tradition with the focus of bringing students into peace of mind and ultimately moving towards spiritual enlightenment.
For the last 25 years, Sajee has followed spiritual life, guide by Narayana Guru and Ramana Maharshi. His own Santhi Yoga School has been in operation at his residence in Cochin, for over 10 years now. In his yoga practice Sajee has trained students and yoga teachers from all over the world. Sajee is well known in his home town and his students come from all around the world. Some of his students have invited him to take his practice out of Cochin to other countries like Hong Kong, Iceland, Latvia, England, France, and Norway.
The practice of Yoga makes the body strong and flexible and it also improves the bodily functions of the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and hormonal systems. Yoga brings about emotional stability and clarity of mind.
In meditation through the practice of asanas we provide the knowledge of unifying consciousness and teachings on the Vedanta Philosophy (Non-dual Philosophy). Practicing yoga this way brings awareness and spiritual insight into the yoga ideology and the meaning of life. The ultimate aim is one of self-development, liberation and self-realization.
I have been a devotee of Swami Venkatesananda for 25 years, a 6th generation Reiki Master for 20 years and a Wiccan witch for 15 years.
I am a disabled person and a Stage 4 cancer survivor and I work as therapist in the field of illness and disability, trauma and death.
During my illness I had this life changing experience.
I’m very interested in the consciousness that adapted bodies have. For me the perfect hatha yoga asana has less to do with physical virtuosity and more to do with self-awareness, metaphysical alignment and understanding of energy.
As an intersectional vegan feminist I apply current post-humanist and queer critical theory in order to live an ethical life and I find this blends perfectly with my spiritual study and the teachings, lectures on Bhagavad-Gita, and commentaries on Sutras of Swami Venkatesananda and Sat Guru HH Swami Sivananda (some now almost 100yrs old!)
I live in Cape Town with my fantastic son and two felines in a house with a great vegetable garden, it’s good!!
I am a poet and performance artist, most of my work is dedicated to themes on disability, consciousness, healing.
Have a look!
Looking forward to learning and transforming together.
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih
Dagmara likes to say, “Become Nothing.” But she is much more than Nothing. Or is she?
She grew up in Krakow, Poland and started dancing from a young age. She knew this was her path and became a dancer working for Atelie Dance Group. Dancing led her to explore other things like Yoga, the Shamanic Arts, Plant Medicine, Reiki, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Sound/Vibration Healing.
Now she focuses less on dancing and more on Yoga and Healing. You can find her teaching her own unique style of Vinyasa Yoga around Krakow. She also gives Sound Healing Concerts, raising the vibrations of all those that come to hear this music. She loves to travel and her ultimate goal is to raise the vibration of the world.
She recently started her own company Yaki Yoga and says, “This is an unconventional rainbow land in which unicorns live. In this space, you give up illusions and experience yourself in truth. Here I love what is, whether it’s pretty or not. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable. Let go of the fight, watch in mindfulness and let yourself be surprised. You are the perfection that can handle everything. Just do not disturb. Let it shine. I invite you on a journey with yoga and sound.
With love for all beings.
Elaine’s love affair with Yoga started in 2000- Her first class left her feeling like a 5 year old , so familiar and nourishing, she had come home! This Journey led her on the most Exquisite Adventure, revealing Yoga’s healing Medicine and Magic.
Her Practice became her passion.
Elaine, seeks to translate and express the Joy, Freedom and Support that Yoga offers, in connecting and getting to know the body. She strives to show students the Beauty and Importance of this connection, despite our differences of strengths and abilities.
Inspired by the precision and alignment of Iyengar ; the strength and core connection physically and emotionally of Forrest yoga; the anatomical understanding of safe and healthy practice of the spine, through Synergy Yoga – culminating in the Grace and fluidity of Vinyasa.
Respecting & valuing ones’ body, is the Key to good health.
She teaches from the heart, and includes all the delicious Jewels of her studies into her classes.
Yoga is a lifetime Journey, that never ceases to Surprise and Delight Elaine, it guides her to a better understanding and respect of herself, on all levels,
hence to a better understanding and respect of the world around her.
Her practice started nearly 20 years ago, regularly attending Iyengar workshops and classes.
Over the years, she has continued her yoga studies within South Africa and in India.
In addition, she hosts many workshops, on Alignment & Adjustments & runs local & International Retreats.
2012 Africa Yoga YTT 200hr
2013 Ana Forrest YTT 200hr
2013 Yoga Life YTT 200hr
2014 Jim Harrington Synergy YTT 300hr
Crystal Wellman began studying yoga as a supplementary movement practice while attending professional ballet school before she was even a teenager. From that young age she saw the effects that mindfulness and mediation had on her psyche.
In her seventeen year career as a professional ballet dancer performing with companies across the United States, Ms. Wellman has had the pleasure to teach many different styles of movement including yoga which she has been consistently teaching for the past ten years. She currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina where she has teaches yoga at local studios, for special events and to private clients in homes and corporate offices. Crystal has completed trainings in Yin Yoga, Power Vinyasa, and Hatha.